Virendra Chaudhary, Director, Algor Logistics in a tête-à-tête with Express Pharma, speaks on the crucial role played by temperature-controlled logistics services in India’s challenging domestic pharmaceutical market
Give us an overview of the services offered by your company.
Algor Logistics is a specialist in the temperature- controlled logistics services space. We transport a range of pharmaceutical goods including active pharma ingredients (APIs), intermediates, formulations, cosmeceuticals, vaccines, and drugs under clinical trial. In addition, our refrigerated trucks ship highly sensitive cargo such as bioplasma, stem cells, and live animals for lab testing, to name a few.
How big is your company in terms of number of employees and market presence?
We have about 50 people on our direct payroll at all-India level as of now. However, we are in the process of hiring new people. So, our headcount is expected to grow by another 10 per cent within a fortnight from now.
We are just a three-year-old company. In 2015 we have already established a pan-India business footprint. Algor has a fleet of over 100 reefer trucks running on Indian roads, delivering high-value materials at client destinations. Of these, nearly 60 vehicles are dedicated to pharma vertical.
What are the challenges faced by pharma companies in India?
It may not be inappropriate or an exaggerated claim to describe India’s pharma sector as vibrant. Besides being the second largest contributor to the world’s biotech and pharma workforce, the industry is also one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Within two years from now, this globally competitive sector is expected to touch $55 billion in terms of value.
Besides the quality norms under CGMP regulations, pharma companies have to comply with stringent Good Distribution Practices (GDP) laid down by World Health Organisation (WHO). GDP norms mandate that pharma goods be transported in such a manner that their safety, identity, strength, quality and purity characteristics of are well maintained during transportation.
Being highly sensitive, pharma materials (such as APIs, intermediates, formulations, cosmeceuticals, and vaccines) require special handling and care during transport.
The pharma substances being shipped must remain stable during transport. Sensitive materials such as drugs, blood, and blood components must be stored safely at the right temperature. APIs, vaccines, formulations and biologicals should not be tilted and be handled with utmost care. These materials also need to be protected from microbes and pests throughout the duration of their tran